Welcome to Day 19 of our 31 Days to Hallway Praise challenge!
We've covered a lot of ideas for finding ways to praise the Lord when times are tough. Today, I want to challenge you to serve in some capacity. If you have a family, likely you're already serving them by preparing meals, cleaning house, chauffeuring kids, and other domestic pursuits. But are you also serving in your local church body?
There are definitely times to let other people serve. If you've just had a baby, have recently lost a loved one, or are feeling absolutely overwhelmed with life, it might be time to step back from some of your extra obligations. But serving your local church is another great way to keep your eyes off of your struggles and to focus on things of the Lord.
If you aren't sure where you should start serving, as yourself a few questions:
- What are my strengths?
- What do I enjoy?
- What service-oriented jobs fit with my schedule and my family values?
Once you have a bit of clarity about what kinds of serving jobs might be a good fit for you, ask around at your church to see if there are needs in the same areas.
Years ago, I was under the wrong impression that serving wasn't really serving unless I was miserable. I felt that I had to step out of my comfort zone to really serve. For example, often a church's biggest need is in its nurseries. And even though I have four spark plugs of my own, I'm not that good with kids. I'm not terribly creative when it comes to playing games or making toddler art. But I thought I just needed to serve in the nursery because there was a need and I was out of my element - surely that was true ministry, right?
Yes, sometimes ministry will take us outside our comfort zones, but just because we're uncomfortable doesn't mean we're in the right area of service. After I completely forgot to change a baby's diaper and returned him in that condition to his mom (yep, true story!), I started realizing that I might not be serving in the best capacity.
I can play the piano. Although I can't read chord charts well or figure out harmony on the fly, I can play from a hymnal and accompany a congregation. Doing so makes me all kinds of nervous, but I actually enjoy doing it. When our regular pianist asked if I'd consider being an alternate once a month or so, I agreed. It's been a much better fit for me than caring for little ones in the nursery. (And it also opened up the opportunity for those truly gifted with child-care abilities to step in.)
Serving the Body of Christ is a wonderful way to honor the Lord, to help others, and to stay focused on Biblical things. It can help us forget our trials and to remember how blessed we are. It can help us keep our eyes on Christ.
Today's action steps: If you're not already ministering in your local church, consider what your talents and interests are. Find out if your church has a need in a similar area where you can help out. You don't have to jump in the deep end, but do find at least one area in which you can serve.